The taxidermist did not get her limb exactly right,
and it wasn’t because there were no other parts to
provide a scale or further sense of relevance, but
rather because he had not caressed the long smooth
length a thousand times or ever felt secure in the once
perfect placement with its other attachments. I’d given
him photographs – obviously – and also the love letters
she had written to me in those early years when her
words were as if we touched when being read, yet this
wasn’t a feeling he could get second-hand, which I am
glad to say even with the finished piece suffering so in
consequence. I paid him all the same, knowing how any
one of us can fail despite our skills and intentions, though
why he didn’t paint her nails blue will always dismay.


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